Hôtel Van Eetvelde


A great highlight of an ARAU tour is getting into the otherwise closed Hôtel Van Eetvelde. While the outside of this building is not Brussels’ most gripping, its interior is a Horta masterpiece (built 1895–1901), studded with exotic timbers and sporting a central glass dome infused with African-inspired plant motifs. Its owner, Baron Van Eetvelde, was Minister for the Congo and, not coincidentally, the country’s highest-paid civil servant.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Brussels attractions

1. Square Marie-Louise

0.03 MILES

You can feed the ducks in the pretty tree-lined pond surrounded by greenery and a smattering of art nouveau architecture.

2. Maison St-Cyr

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The haunting facade of this narrow building is an extravagance of knotted and twisted ironwork. It was built in 1903 for painter Léonard St-Cyr by Gustave…

3. Berlaymont Building

0.27 MILES

The European Commission, the EU’s sprawling bureaucracy, centres on the vast, four-winged Berlaymont building. Built in 1967, it’s striking but by no…

4. Charlier Museum

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A lesser sight on the Horta trail, this grand private house was remodelled and extended by the architect in 1893. It displays a rather stuffy collection…

5. House of European History

0.55 MILES

Housed in the beautifully renovated Eastman Building in Parc Léopold, this airy, elegant new museum takes you into some dark corners of European history,…

6. Parlamentarium

0.57 MILES

The visitor centre of the EU Parliament makes a valiant multimedia attempt to engage visitors, with an interactive floor map allowing you to tour the EU,…

7. Parc Léopold


Steep-sloping Parc Léopold was Brussels Zoo until 1880 and now forms an unexpectedly pleasant oasis, hidden away just behind the EU Parliament.

8. EU Parliament

0.64 MILES

Inside this decidedly dated blue-glass building (completed only just over a decade ago) political junkies can sit in on a parliamentary session in the…